Thursday, December 24, 2020

Producer Of Westerns Believes In Them [archived newspaper article.]

The Idianapolis Star

Indianapolis, Indiana

July 15, 1975


A VISITOR from that other planet, Hollywood, visited Indianapolis the other day. He is Harry Bernsen, producer of the western, “Take a Hard Ride,” which is having what is said to be it world premiere currently at eight area hard top and drivein theaters.

     Bernsen found himself speaking on behalf of westerns in general because “Bite the Bullet” also opened last week. But he didn’t mind that, because he believes in them – you can tell the heroes from the villains and identify with them.

     HE SAID HE had three things in mind when he produced “Take a Hard Ride”: to make money for the studio, to turn out an entertaining film and to eliminate “color”.

     By that he meant he doesn’t want racial color to count. His cast is thoroughly integrated. It has a black hero, Jim Brown, but the good and bad guys are mixed.

     BERSEN MADE two interesting discoveries while producing “Hard Ride.” First is an Indian tribe, the Tarahumra, skilled in fighting with its feet. This gave his western a reasonable facsimile of kung-fu, now a necessary ingredient of action films.

     The other is the Canary Islands, off the northwest coast of Africa. He found they have rugged terrain ideal for western locations, but with a difference fans haven’t seen before. And they are near Spain, which has stunt men who don’t mind taking a hard ride.

     FOOTNOTE to history: Larry McKnight, who started last Tuesday to break the Guiness Book of World Records time for endurance in the saddle on behalf of “Take a Hard Ride” was reported victorious at noon Sunday. The mark he claims in 111 hours and 55 minutes.

[submitted by Mike Hauss]


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